Road safety (FRSC) in Rivers says it has started enforcing COVID-19 guidelines on interstate travel in the interest of public health.

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Road Safety Sector Commander in Rivers, Corp Commander Salisu Galadunci, stated this during a stakeholder meeting held with transport unions and fleet operators in Port Harcourt.

He said the enforcement became necessary following the way drivers, passengers, and members of the public flout the COVID-19 guidelines by drivers and members of the public.

He also said that FRSC has decided to enter into an agreement with transport unions and fleet operators to make sure they comply with Coronavirus prevention measures.

He went further to say that to make sure social distancing is properly followed, 13 seater buses will now take nine passengers, 10 seater vehicles will carry seven while those with seven seats will carry five passengers.

“Four seater saloon vehicles will take three passengers, luxury buses will henceforth carry only four passengers per row, this will amount to 50 percent of its loading capacity,” he said.

Galadunci further stated that transport firms and motor park unions should get thermometers to make sure the temperature of passengers is checked before they are allowed into terminals.

He stressed all travels from one city to another should be done from registered terminals so that passengers can be screened effectively.

The FRSC official also urged transport operators to provide hand sanitizers and equipment for hand washing in their terminals, saying, “wearing of face masks is compulsory at the terminals”

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Reports state that transport union representatives present at the meeting signed the agreement for interstate travel.

Some commercial drivers in the state however decried poor passenger patronage due to the increase in the cost of transportation.

Some drivers from transport companies said they charge N15,000 for Port Harcourt to Abuja, it previously went for N7,500.

Also, traveling from Port Harcourt to Onitsha now costs N3,000 instead of N1,800 which used to be the cost.

They said the essence of the increase was to make up for losses while complying with the COVID-19 guidelines.

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